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Mailing BP revolvers

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Mulebrain

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The flat rate boxes are the best for pistols, just be sure the packing is done well. The last pistol I shipped to California, the butt was sticking out of the box! I know how to pack them, shipped many over the years. Remember those commercials where gorillas are testing Samsonite luggage? Just saying they don't treat packages with kid gloves.
 

Woodnbow

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Interesting. Ignorance has been bliss. Would almost seem to carry over to original revolvers, which at some point in time had commercial replacement parts converting them to something other than cap and ball. Have not heard of any ‘test’ cases on this topic with USPS, but that doesn’t mean they are not out there.

That said, the fact that the originals were not designed for fixed ammunition would mean replicas are not designed for fixed ammunition either, unless redesigned. Comes down to opinion of your friendly BATF agent, not mine or anyone else’s on this forum. Not a topic for this for this forum in my opinion, so I’m also out

if such replica:
  • Is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition.
Agreed except to note that the Federal government usually just issues rules that say what they mean. As in the case with the bolt rifles that Remington marketed as muzzleloaders. They are but the agency ruled that changing the barrels and bolts would convert them into the modern firearm and they must all be sold as 4473. The Remington was not a copy of a muzzleloading rifle.
Anyway, a person aught to do as they see fit. Inform yourself as best you can and have at it.
 

deermanct

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Not long ago, I sold one of my muzzleloaders. I wrapped it all up nice in the original box, brought it to the Post office.
First thing out of the lady's mouth, "is that a gun". Yes, I said, muzzleloader, I said. "NO WAY SHE SAYS, CAN'T SHIP A GUN."
I took the gun home, disassembled it, repacked it in a smaller box, brought it to a different post office. No problems.
 

nhmoose

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You should have made an official complaint. She was wrong delaying the mail and commerce. The Postmaster General does not like that. She would then get remedial training to know her job.

When the USPS employee takes the paycheck and benefits they should know their job and their rules.
 

arcticap

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It's not legal to ship BP pistols by USPS unless:


  • Mailed between curio and relic collectors only when those firearms also meet the definition of an antique firearm.
  • Certified by the curator of a municipal, state, or federal museum that exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest.
The USPS regulations have changed.
Scroll down to the antiques section. --->>> Shipping Firearms, Rules and Restrictions - USPS, UPS, FedEx | Overview

Many people may get away with it, but they should be using an alternate carrier.
Just because XYZ does it, does not mean that it's legal.

I switched to shipping with Fedex as a result.
Who wants to risk having a run in with postal inspectors or not having insurance coverage?
 
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sourdough

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It's not legal to ship BP pistols by USPS unless:

Who wants to risk having a run in with postal inspectors or not having insurance coverage?
I understand where you are coming from and what you have stated. Still, BATFE is a FedGov institution and does not consider BP C&B revolvers as firearms (based upon NFA 1934/GCA 1968). USPS is a FedGov institution and therefore may be at odds with Federal Law if they impose the restrictions you posted.

If one wants to ship via USPS and it is a Colt repro, put the barrel assembly and cylinder in one small Priority Mail box and the rest in another one. It is no longer a gun of any type and is just PARTS.

Insofar as insurance is concerned, you must state the value of the item being shipped. USPS will not insure collector coins, period. About 30 years ago I was heavily into collecting "mint error" Lincoln Cents. The coin, in collectors' circles may have been worth $30, but to the USPS it was worth one cent, maybe because any ignorant person in the USPS inspecting it may have deemed it as a damaged coin, not worth 1 cent, and could possibly invoke an obscure Federal law about damaging US currency/coinage. I guess I was living life on the edge.

It is a broadstruck early brockage and I still have it for sale for a nice price: $50.



Therefore, how is it that USPS will reimburse for a lost shipment that contains, say, a scarce version of a Colt 2nd Gen 1851 Navy when the USPS bean counters come up with $400 for a $1200 gun? That's why I don't do the extra insurance, nor do I ship scarce guns.

Insofar as a run-in with postal inspectors, why have we not heard of any crackdowns by such agents concerning Ebay parts sales/shipping?

Arcticap, I think you are sincerely going by the letter-of-law, and are technically correct. If you drive 66 mph in a 65 mph zone, you are in violation of the law, etc., etc.

Regards,

Jim
 

Rifleman1776

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Shipping/mailing rules are only part of the equation. The people working in the stores or post offices can be the impenetrable wall. I avoid UPS like disease. Many times I have used USPS Click 'n Ship from home. With that there is no need to declare what is in the box. Pack and ship, you are breaking no laws and best of all you do not have to deal with difficult clerks.
 

Rifleman1776

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hawkeye2

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I have never experienced an issue with a PO employee when shipping anything. I usually do the click & ship online when shipping Priority Mail because it's so easy and no, it isn't an attempt to slip something by them. Quite often when I drop off a package they just take it and scan it into the system. Occasionally they ask the question about hazardous or perishable items buy not always. Remember that is the only question they can ask about the contents and you are under no obligation to answer with more than a "no". The less one says about what's in the box be it a flint pistol or dirty underwear the better.

USPS employees are only human for better or worse and you only have to look around at the folks you work with to understand that. Some are very professional and some are indifferent, poorly trained or inexperienced and don't always "follow the script". Some may ask what is in the box because they are nosy, some just to make friendly conversation and the best reply is "nothing against postal regulations" said with a big smile. If you tell them what you are actually shipping you may trigger an emotional or biased response or one based on a lack of knowledge. I avoid any reply specially ones like machine parts and so on.

Commercial shippers are looking at $$ and may not always be completely honest when they are telling you what you can or cannot mail. UPS stores generally will not accept guns of any type forcing you to drive to a hub to ship (40+ miles in my case) though I have bought my label online and dropped the package at the store. Finally BATF regulations can be somewhat confusing unless you speak legalese.
 

arcticap

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The USPS regulations have changed.
Scroll down to the antiques section. --->>> Shipping Firearms, Rules and Restrictions - USPS, UPS, FedEx | Overview
That is incorrect. That incorrect information is posted by a commercial shipping business trying to lure you to be their paying customer. Their wording is tricky. You can still mail the 'non-firearms' used in our avocation without declaration.
I provided a reference.
Yet you have not provided any reference except your opinion that it's okay to ignore the USPS regulations.
I can understand that many folks want to justify skirting the postal reg's. because it's commonly done.
If you can post a reference showing where antique muzzle loading pistols are okay to send through the USPS, then I would be happy to read them.
No one else here has posted the updated regulations, but I attempted to honestly inform folks.
Even though these changes regarding ML pistols and C&B revolvers are not new, most folks chose to ship through USPS as if the rules never changed.
It reminds me of the saying that ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law.

Anyone who has watched the US customs enforcement TV show should be aware that there's ways for the USPS to open suspicious packages for inspection, they can X-ray them, and they have dogs sniffing them, especially at the airports which handle the bulk of Priority Mail that are transported on planes.
There's millions of packages being sorted and put on conveyors at the airports to be transferred onto different planes.
If a package doesn't get delivered then there is no recourse.
At least if shipping by Fedex there's some accountability.
If anyone thinks that there aren't overzealous postal employees who actually follow the USPS rules when they find contraband in the mail then denile ain't just a river in Egypt.
 
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Henry Miles

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Arcticap, your link applies to firearms. BP revolvers and pistols are not antique firearms. Firearms are classified differently than BP replicas.
 

arcticap

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Arcticap, your link applies to firearms. BP revolvers and pistols are not antique firearms. Firearms are classified differently than BP replicas.
I specified the "Antiques" section which the definition clearly applies to muzzle loading pistols & C&B revolvers.
This thread involves shipping C&B revolvers which the rules below apply to.
If you can post something else that's currently in the USPS regulations that states otherwise, then I will be all ears.

"Antiques:
Antique firearms are defined as any muzzleloading rifle/shotgun/pistol, which is designed to use black powder or a black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition.

They must be:


  • Mailed between curio and relic collectors only when those firearms also meet the definition of an antique firearm.
  • Certified by the curator of a municipal, state, or federal museum that exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest."
 
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Henry Miles

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After further research, it appears the rules have changed or the definitions changed, but you appear to be right. BP and C&B used to be excluded from these restrictions.
 

arcticap

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After further research, it appears the rules have changed or the definitions changed, but you appear to be right. BP and C&B used to be excluded from these restrictions.
Thank you very much.
I found that these new reg.'s only apply to antique pistols and other antique guns capable of being concealed on a person, and does not include the most common muzzle loading rifles with longer barrels.
And the USPS can demand that a package be opened for inspection to verify that it's unloaded.
I don't want to post the text of all the sections here but below are links to the consecutive pages of the relevant USPS regulations.

1. 43 Firearms | Postal Explorer

2. 432 Mailability | Postal Explorer

3. 433 Legal Opinions on Mailing Firearms | Postal Explorer
 

FishDFly

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Thank you, dropped into favorites for future needs.

Sounds like one of those things that needs to be a sticky here.
 

SDSmlf

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I specified the "Antiques" section which the definition clearly applies to muzzle loading pistols & C&B revolvers.
This thread involves shipping C&B revolvers which the rules below apply to.
If you can post something else that's currently in the USPS regulations that states otherwise, then I will be all ears.

"Antiques:
Antique firearms are defined as any muzzleloading rifle/shotgun/pistol, which is designed to use black powder or a black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition.

They must be:


  • Mailed between curio and relic collectors only when those firearms also meet the definition of an antique firearm.
  • Certified by the curator of a municipal, state, or federal museum that exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest."
Curious why you quote a ‘regulation’ interpretation from a third party, ShippingEasy Support Center, instead of going to the USPS website? Below is directly from the USPS, Policies, Procedures, and Forms Updates, and is their definition of a firearm (12.1.1a). Notice what is not included in the definition of the term firearm, which I have highlighted. The term shall not include an antique firearm. Below that is the USPS definition of the term antique firearm (12.1.1h), basically what I have been understanding for years. Antique firearm means any muzzle loading rifle/shotgun/pistol that is designed to use black powder or a black powder substitute and that cannot use fixed ammunition..... manufactured on or before 1898, or any replica thereof, if such replica is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition.

The last cap and ball pistol I ‘mailed’ was sent out in June of this year. Bride took it to the USPS, mailed it and it was confirmed delivered a few days latter. I asked her last night if she remembered what questions they asked or what she told them. She forgot exactly what they asked, ‘maybe something about anything dangerous’, but she used the cheat sheet I gave her, and she told them it was an unloaded replica of antique cap and ball pistol. They didn’t bat an eye as they took the USPS Flat Rate box and the money.
_______________________________________________
Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM)
* * * * *
600 Basic Standards for All Mailing Services
601 Mailability

* * * * *
12.0 Other Restricted and Nonmailable Matter
[Revise title of 12.1 as follows:]
12.1 Firearms
12.1.1 Definitions

The terms used in this standard are defined as follows:
[Delete current items 12.1.1a and 12.1.1g in their entirety and replace with the following.]
a. Firearm means any device, including a starter gun, which will, or is designed to, or may readily be converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or any destructive device; but the term shall not include an antique firearm.
...
.

h. Antique firearm means any muzzle loading rifle/shotgun/pistol that is designed to use black powder or a black powder substitute and that cannot use fixed ammunition (except those that incorporate a firearm frame or receiver, any firearm that is converted into a muzzle loading weapon, or any muzzle loading weapon that can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof); or any firearm (including those with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured on or before 1898, or any replica thereof, if such replica:
1. Is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition.
2. Uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition that is no longer manufactured in the United States and that is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.
 

arcticap

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Curious why you quote a ‘regulation’ interpretation from a third party, ShippingEasy Support Center, instead of going to the USPS website? .....
a. Firearm means any device, including a starter gun, which will, or is designed to, or may readily be converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or any destructive device; but the term shall not include an antique firearm.
...
.
I did post the links to the actual USPS regulations in post #36 above.
You conveniently left out the rest of the USPS definition of a firearm.
It's very clear in black & white that antique handguns ARE NOT EXEMPT from being classified as firearms by the USPS.
It clearly states: that antique handguns and other concealable guns are considered to be firearms by the USPS.
That also means that even other short barreled muzzle loaders are not allowed to be shipped if concealable.
It also says on the 3rd page that I posted the links to in post #36 that:
" Postmasters are not authorized to give opinions on the legality of any shipment of firearms. "
Just because the clerk doesn't know the regulations doesn't mean that it's legal.
It only means that he let it pass and is not doing his job.
That reminds me of all of the times when it was legal to ship C&B revolvers and the clerks would give people a hard time.
Anyway, please read my post #36 above where I posted links to the reg's, and also Henry Miles post #35 above where he also agrees what the actual regulations state.
And also sourdough's post #28 where he also agrees that the interpretation that I have posted about is technically correct.
By not posting the end part of the regulation, you are now trying to hide the fact that C&B revolvers, muzzle loading pistols and other concealable antique guns are all considered firearms by the USPS.
Ignorance of the regulations is not an excuse, even if you were a postal clerk or a Postmaster.
The rules are clear even if they're not being properly enforced.
But it can't honestly be said that the rule doesn't exist since that would be dishonest.
There's an old saying that you can lead a horse to water but that you can't make it drink.
Let's try not make the MLF a home for horses since that's all that I'm trying to point out.
So let's not shoot the message or the messenger over it.
And it's not an internet shipper;s conspiracy by the free web pages.
I'm posting the part of the regulation below which you left out which clearly states that antique handguns are now considered to be firearms by the USPS which means that they fall under the USPS shipping restrictions.

43 Firearms
431 Definitions
431.1 Firearm
The following definitions apply:


  1. Firearm means any device, including a starter gun, which will, or is designed to, or may readily be converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or any destructive device; but the term shall not include antique firearms (except antique firearms meeting the description of a handgun or of a firearm capable of being concealed on a person).
 
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